Among the factors that car insurance companies consider when setting policy rates is drivers’ records. So being involved in an accident could send rates higher. Car insurance rates don’t always increase after accidents, but they may in certain cases. Whether rates increase depends on a lot of different factors.
Fault for the accident is one the most important factors. If the driver was at fault in the accident, then his or her insurance company must pay out on a claim. This affects the driver’s claims history. More serious accidents also result in higher payments on claims, which may impact rates as well.
Crashes often result in the police issuing citations to an at-fault driver. These citations go on the driver’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles records. Insurance companies have access to these records and often use them to determine car insurance rates.
There are other incidental reasons why insurance rates may rise after an accident. Insurance companies often give discounts if a driver has avoided accidents for a certain period of time. Even if the driver is not at fault in the accident, these discounts might expire, depending on the insurance company’s policies.
Will My Rates Increase If I Wasn’t at Fault for the Accident?
Your rates may not increase if you were not at fault for the car accident. This makes sense because another driver hitting your vehicle isn’t necessarily an indication that you are an unsafe driver – it only means the other driver acted in an unsafe manner. But there may be certain cases in which rates go up after an accident, even if you weren’t at fault. Talk to your auto insurance company for more specific information about what to expect.
How Can I Get My Rates to Decrease?
The best way for drivers to have their rates go down is to avoid getting into another car accident. Insurance companies often have accident forgiveness policies that clear the accident from a policyholder’s record after a certain period of time.
Talk to your insurer about steps you can take to lower your rates. Drivers can shop around for other insurance policies if they are unhappy with their insurance companies.
What Are My Legal Options After a Car Accident?
If a driver is not at fault in an accident, he or she has a right to file an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurer. Indiana is a modified comparative fault state. Drivers must be less than 50 percent at fault in an accident in order to collect damages. Any fault less than 50 percent will reduce recovery of damages proportionately. In some cases, this may then lead to a personal injury lawsuit if the insurance company fails to make a reasonable settlement offer.
Hensley Legal Group helps drivers in Indiana pursue legal action against an at-fault driver’s insurance company. To set up a consultation, contact our office at (317) 472-3333 or visit our contact page.